FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- It’s tough to imagine what life will be like five years from now. Imagine having to ponder that idea in 7th grade.
“I totally forgot we made these letters and I read it and all these emotions came flooding back, says Fond du Lac senior Daniel Bestul. “Most of the things I wrote are mostly true still.”
Bestul remembers writing a letter to his future self in Mrs. Rieder’s 7th-grade social studies class.
“Do you know how to spell better,” he reads. “I do not know how to spell better.”
Every 7th grader will do this in Gina Rieder’s class. Five years later when they’re about to graduate, she mails it to them, along with a class picture and her own letter.
“It’s fun either way for them,” Gina says. “It’s fun for them to see how much has changed, but also to see whether they were wise.”
Gina teaches at Sabish Middle School, though for the latter half of this year, she taught from home.
“It’s a love-hate relationship with remote learning,” she says. “The hate is not interacting with the kids in person and seeing their personalities.”
Writing a letter to your future self during a global pandemic could elicit some unique questions too.
“It’s so interesting to read my letters to the first-semester class and now that we’re in this pandemic, my letters to the second-semester kids will look totally different,” Gina says.
The letters will look different aesthetically as well.
“It’ll have to be typed because we have to do it electronically and this year, we couldn’t take a class picture, so we took a class Zoom picture,” Gina says.
“Just to have some happiness during this time is nice,” says Marissa Gravelle, who also got her letter this year before graduation.
Marissa predicted she would get into UW-Madison.
“Halfway through the letter I wrote ‘please tell me we’re going to Madison’ and that is where I’m going is UW Madison,” she said.
For Gina, it’s a welcomed gift to be able to help her students hold on to who they are and who they were.
“They’re a pretty special group of kids,” she says.